tom's blobs

10.2.2024

Sat

I’m full of verve. projects. doing. create, create.

Dreams

I dreamed of being powerful. And even though I was hurting other people it still felt good. I forgot almost everything but that feeling of invincibility. A feeling pure and numb, so it feels like nothing can touch it. After I woke up from the dream, I considered recording it, but chose oblivion, as usual.

Somewhere, somehow, I have felt that invincibility before, even if just for 2 seconds. It has great allure, even now as a distant memory. I came here to ponder why in this dream power was coupled with brutality and causing harm. But now I’m like yesss, one could spend their life chasing that feelingggg, nnyess, one could KILL to feel it again.

Makes me wonder. Chasing feelings. Arranging your life so that you feel content\busy\angry and not sad, make it so you wake up in a bed instead of a sleeping bag, sprinkle adrenaline into your week so that it doesn’t seem like such a drag. Chasing highs, fearing lows. A strange bend in the tissue of spacetime around the comfort zone that spacemonkeys like me tend to fall into. And that feeling of power that seems so tied to invincibility. Who of us fragile creatures wouldn’t want to feel invincible? I bet people have been chasing that high for a while. Could it be useful when it’s not compulsive — to feel this once in a while? I AM INVINCIBLE AND I AM GOING TO DESTROY PATRIARCHY, MOTHERFUCKERS, AIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE. But then, how much effort am I ready to spend to learn how to feel it? I might be more of the take-it-as-life-gives-dishes-it-out-type.

But then I remember breathing in bed last night (it was like 4 hours of insomnia. not so miserable this time tho). And feeling something big. There were these spurts of anxiety that I could pretty reliably produce when breathing in a certain way (I’m not sure I can verbalize the pattern tho). But they were just solar flares and I sensed something larger under there, roiling.

I was like, accept, accept this. Don’t try to change it, it’s not gonna go away tonight. The way through this is through acceptance. And so I tried accepting it and let the breathing go naturally, without forcing too much. But something deep — another layer so deep I sense it more than I feel it — really, desperately doesn’t want to feel this commotion, this heat, this tickling sense of something is wrong.

And so we lay there and passed the time together.

31.1.2024

Wednesday

Went to a dance with U last night. Barely slept. Worst night in weeks. Something something intestines? Something something emotions? I was running hot, as usual. Literally. Stewing in my sheets. (Chewie in the streets, Stewie in the sheets.) Kept my cool though — no screen time. Just put on a Horrorbabble a few times. Got to the morning, somehow.

So, the date with U. I’m like do I wanna see her again??!?!!!? Part of me has reasons not to: she seemed kind of uncomfortable and anxious, especially for the second half… You know what, as I’m writing I already know that the other part will win: give her a second chance. Cuz in essence, I found her sweet (and she’s cute and hot and a little bit mysterious, too).

She was in my head a lot this sleepless night.

I got these surges of anxiety whenever I thought about some interactions with the regulars at last night’s dance. Everytime this or that particular interaction popped into my head, it made me suck in a lungful of air. A big whince. Then a big sigh. Which interaction was it again? Neither of these elicits much of a reaction at this moment. I thought it would be an interesting thing to look at.

I kind of got nothin. To look at. I’ve got insomniac brain fog. I just spaced out for like 2 minutes imagining a redesign for this blog. I wonder if a stark 2-color light and dark color scheme could work or if it would be too metal for this material. I’m feeling very tempted to try it out.

My little lethargy

IMPORTANT: What follows is a description of what goes on in a certain kind of depression. It doesn’t try to be hopeful or encouraging. Please be aware of this and take care when You continue.

I’m sharing this one because I have a hunch that my experience is not unique. Maybe a stranger will recognize a part of themselves in these words and feel alleviated, knowing that they aren’t so strange.


Musical suggestion: Tangerine Dream — Nebulous Dawn


Sitting down to work at 13:30 — a success after two days of utter avoidance, reliving the deepest phase of my depression. I’ve spent a good portion of my twenties like this: nervously napping at my desk the whole day, youtube in the background, reduced to an uncomfortable heap of flesh by some kind of panicked physiological override.

The behavioral pattern goes something like this:

The “empty” hours of lethargy feel pretty intense, funny enough. My body fills with dread and anxiety, my chest tightens, knots form in my gut — that sort of thing. The resulting state does not lend itself to verbal analysis. Over the years, I’ve tried to decipher the feelings with mixed success. It’s hard to do subtle introspection while my adrenaline gland is screaming at me.

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together. The vibe of the pattern goes something like: I am clearly tired, but I can’t allow myself to embrace that. I shouldn’t be tired, I should be “working”. But since I can’t work, I will at least punish myself by never truly resting. My body doesn’t deserve a position to comfortably relax — it should be contorted at all times. I won’t stretch out in bed, I will bunch up in my office chair and my head will be dangling the whole time. I certainly won’t accept I’m exhausted and admit that I might need a day off (or a week, or a month; or some help).

Instead, there’s a sense of shame — a vague but cutting feeling of failure for not doing anything “productive”, not “getting ahead”, not looking for a job, not adding to my pension fund, not following an ambition, not honoring a talent…

It seems like I have it pinned down when I write it out like this, but the issue still feels fuzzy and obscure — some part of it always hidden, unreachable. I never got a narrative that would feel like a satisfying explanation, just one motif: I am wasting time. And this is bad

(Here, I see a fork in the road: we could detour through Heidegger’s concept of anxiety, or take a roundabout back to my parents and their devaluation of any activity outside of capitalistic work. I’ll just keep plowing ahead for now.)

This is already analysis and post-facto introspection — it’s not something I consciously perceive when I’m sitting in my chair and trying to lean my head against the edge in the least painful way. No inner demon is berating me and telling me to get up and work, at least not in fully formed human language. I just feel my heart pounding ever faster.

The feeling worsens as the day progresses: the anxiety accumulates by the minute, clogging up my chest; the knots in my guts multiply; my voice disappears. There are moments of feeling truly vile, hollow, utterly broken, mad with stress, alone in unspeakable shame. Strange fantasies bubble up — visions of bursting into tears. But I’m too paralyzed to actually cry. (Writing this piece has felt cathartic more than once.)

This can go on. Sometimes, after hours in stasis, I stir, fueled by a sort of frustration. I jerk myself free. The mood is frantic. It feels like I’m whipping myself into counter-action. I just wanna do something. I might tidy up, make something to eat, take a bike ride, exercize, work on a project. A walk to the supermarket could be my chance at redemption — “at least I got this little thing done today”. After being repressed, a creative energy can also burst out in excess: I stay up late and give tomorrow’s vicious circle a jump start by waking up extra tired. There’s a haphazard yearning to make up for lost time in all these actions.

Rising up from inaction doesn’t feel like a success. The lost time remains with too much ghastly obviousness. The wasted hours have seeped through and accrued into a source of perpetual regret. Something in me lives just to remind me that the failure is irrevocable.

This cycle of lethargy is hard to talk about, even to close people. It warps with shame and inflates, overshadowing the rest of life. All expression is stifled. There is something wrong with me and I have to hide it at all costs. Human interaction can feel like a series of careful maneuvers: do some small talk, act cheery, say nothing, don’t go into details. Anything to avoid sight of this ugly thing and my desperation.

I’ve spent years suffocating in this state. (I’ve opened up about it since.) Life became barren. Every other capacity all seemed utterly eradicated — my hope, my humor, my pleasures, my grit… This abject anxiety is what I am now. There’s just enough left of me to be stuck here in muffled suffering. All love went cold, the myriad possibilities of a human being converged to zero, and any memory of ever having thought or felt differently vanished.


In the long twilight of Germany’s winter, a confluence of factors creates an extra peculiar state of disassociation. In these times I feel closer to death than to anything else, and I don’t mean suicidal ideation. The sky turns cloudy. The hostile cold confines my movement. The walls of my room grow stale. Sometimes a week passes without seeing the sun. As the eyes relax in the darker surroundings, I notice the city’s electric glow — the uncountable shiny screens, sickly street lamps and supermarket neons mushroom into the foreground, dousing a world of concrete in their humming haze. Something in me gives and the fine chords keeping a sense of coherence slacken, just a bit.

The system reacts. Some kind of psychological boundary turns a little more porous. Outer experience becomes, how to say, a little less solid. Things become a little surreal, especially in the habitual absence of human contact. Perception scatters. I am not quite dreaming, but not fully awake.

Old memories hover behind my eyelids. The past draws closer, fills the canvas. Passing through this narcoleptic twilight is a physical feeling, like moving through another, denser medium. But you don’t go anywhere, you’re buoyed up, suspended in a strange space, hearing the locals rouse in their nests. Nothing left to do but hope for the sunlight to stream in through a crack somewhere, once again.

This is all very mature

I just browsed through July’s journal entries. This made me chortle.

Context: At the time of writing, I had recently joined a band.

(I already quit.)


and it goes deeper: there’s something about finding my voice in this group of people. and bringing myself in, and changing these songs to be my songs as well. and failing to do that (which, i am struggling at least), makes me feel extra vulnerable because it’s like no, if i’m not a leader, i’m a loser, and then another, even nastier voice: it was always like that with me and it still is, (so it shall always be, it seems) — me never influencing anybody, always being influenced by. when in reality it’s much more complex.

it’s good that i wrote this out, i didn’t know i had these attitudes in me. but yeah, something in me feels like a failure when things don’t exactly go my way. either a leader, or a loser. when what i’m interested in (or at least talking about) is collaboration. and being part of a group, i see now, means a much more messy assessment of ownership and leadership. things are messy, uncomfortable, in flux. people don’t dance to my tune they have their own agendas. there’s always tensions. my vision will never be fully realized.

this is all very mature.

having these uncomfortable feelings all the time.

i think i need a solo project.

Words unsaid at 10pm

i get up, work, eat, do chores, stretch my legs. when everything is done (haha) I’m left with this peculiar energy: my body is tired; my mind is tired; but i have things to do, grooves to play, words to say. sometimes i sit down at the piano, and kind of practice, kind of make music. kind of too tired for more than a kind of. sometimes i’m just done and want to turn off. then i binge: food and videos. i’ve been doing this for years. lately, i wonder: what’s the thing — the feeling, the thought, the realization — that i’m trying to drown out with these binges? what part never gets a word in? what words do i leave unspoken, day in and day out?

before a meal

I often wolf down my food,
my head racing,
filled with a million thoughts
- everything except
the food I’m eating.

A little ritual helps me switch modes.
Because sometimes
I just want to have a meal
- whatever that means.

Maybe I take two seconds
to see what’s on my plate.
It’s gonna feed me, after all,
and give me the energy
to do whatever I’m doing.

Taking a slow bite
can be fun:
feel it, taste it
- that’s it.

I could even
think about where this food came from…
but that can lead to big thoughts,
indeed.

I might even not take
my shit so seriously
after that,
for a minute.

before a trip

i set out to travel.

knowing we cannot step out of life,
me, myself and I
will see this world
from another place
for a while.

i accept
i am not at peace.
i don’t feel ready
or like it is the right moment.

i go
because i have chosen to go
for reasons clear and unclear
and i yield to both.

i’m going now, everything be damned!

i leave
a mess or two
and things unfinished,
unbegun.
many projects,
problems.
things that will still be there
and things that may be gone
or different.

i take
all parts of me
because they are coming anyway
with joy
and spite
and pain
and cheer
and many words unsaid

i’m going